This generous Selected Poems from John Barnie includes work from seven of his previous collections: Borderland (1984), Lightning Country (1987), Clay (1989), The Confirmation (1992), The City (1993), Heroes (1996) and At the Salt Hotel (2003).
His poetry celebrates the natural world – its otherness from ourselves – whilst also tackling the increasingly destructive impact of humans on that world. A secondary theme running throughout the book is the manner in which small-town life, while undoubtedly secure, is also deeply confining. This ecological and sceptical outlook is aligned with a deep affinity with, and boundless curiosity about, nature and our precarious place in it.
This Selected is notable for both its breadth of form and its depth of thought. Those familiar with Barnie’s work will enjoy having a selection from his varied output.Those unfamiliar will be pleasantly surprised at the range and quality of his poetry.